What are the different types of property survey?

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Carrying out a property survey is good practice when it comes to most commercial and residential property purchases. Surveys give buyers a fail-safe mechanism to establish the condition of a property and identify any structural problems before fully committing to a purchase.

Discovering the existence of issues like this with a property not only helps you to understand exactly what you’re getting into with a purchase, but it can also help to strengthen your negotiating position should any major defects be uncovered.

There are three key types of surveys most commonly performed before a property is purchased.

1. Building Survey

A Building Survey is the most detailed and comprehensive property survey. When carried out correctly and professionally, this type of survey will provide you with a meticulous assessment of a property’s condition and structural health. All visible and accessible parts of a building should be inspected, including the doors, windows, floors, ceilings, roof, and outbuildings.

Once completed, you should receive a full list of any existing defects, their cause, their urgency and also projections on how much these issues will cost in terms of ongoing maintenance or repair. In most cases, it should take around a day for a building survey to be finished, but this is contingent upon the size of a property.

2. A HomeBuyer’s Report

A HomeBuyer’s Report is the most popular type of property survey. Although this type of survey is less comprehensive than a Building Survey, it is cheaper and can still identify issues like damp, subsidence or non-compliance with building regulations. The drawback is that a HomeBuyer’s Report will only list surface-level issues, so more serious problems with a property may not be detected.

This type of survey usually takes 2 – 4 hours to be carried out and will include market valuation, guidance on maintenance, cost of any repairs or rebuild.

3. A Condition Report

As the most basic type of property survey and the most economical, a Condition Report will provide prospective buyers with an overview of a property’s condition; grading issues based on a ‘traffic light’ rating system.

Property survey essentials

All types of property survey should be performed by a surveyor, who is a fully-qualified and recognised member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). An RICS surveyor will also offer the benefits and security of professional indemnity insurance. It may also be beneficial to work with a surveyor local to the property, as they may have knowledge specific to a given area.

Should you need help, please contact our friendly team today.

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